The latest TV show Once Upon A Time premiered on ABC TV this Sunday. Just as Housewives the setting for the show is placed in a small town dominated by soap opera style character entangled in endless intrigue. Yet, the new show presents no signs of a humorous approach on anything.
The action takes place in two dimensions. On one hand there is Storybrooke, a town in Maine where several fairy tale characters live a common life, completely unaware of their dual existence. On the other hand however, there is the make believe world, a realm that interferes with the “real” life segregating the main story and tossing the characters back to fighting monsters and evil queens. The only people on that something is not quite all right with the real world are Jennifer Morrison’s character who is trying to figure out the connections between the two worlds and her own place in the story at the same time, and Henry (Jared Gilmore). Henry is a little boy who claims to be Morrison’s birth son and the only one to have actually made the connection between the two worlds after reading a fairy tale book.
In Storybrooke the time stands still, as such making all the fairy tale character live exclusively in the present and remember nothing about their part in the other land. Henry is the only one who can see clearly the direct connection between the witch behavior of the town mayor and her former real witch persona in the other realm.
At first glance the show creates the expectation for a good will prevail tone suitable for a fairy tale story, yet on a closer view, Once Upon A Time is as gloomy as it gets. Yet, the producers might find themselves in a pickle since fairy tale fans might find the show too dark whilst dark fantasy fans might considers it too light.
The show’s approach for the old Grimm brothers’ stories lengthens the outcome. Where by reading one of the fairy tale people get to experience the end with only a few turns of a page, the show takes its time with developing the route that leads to the punishment of the villains.